ScottishPower ‘pioneering world first’ boost via wind farm: ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) declares to have achieved a “pioneering world-first” following the use of electricity from an onshore wind farm to re-energise a portion of the power grid.

The energy company said its outstanding project at Dersalloch wind farm in South Ayrshire confirms that wind power is able to restore a “blacked-out” section of the transmission network.

“Black start” restoration is the name appointed to the process used to restore power in the event of a total or partial shutdown of the electricity transmission system.  It is frequently dependent on conventional fossil fuel similar to coal & gas.

It adds using renewables to accomplish this is “not just an extraordinary achievement but a pioneering world-first” that has the possibility to change completely how power may be returned to the network.

SPR worked in cooperation with SP Energy Networks (SPEN), when it was time to interact with the grid as well as, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), which set up the most recent technology at the wind farm.

The ‘grid-forming’ tech called virtual synchronous machines (VSM) controlled the frequency & voltage of the power coming from the turbines, importantly establishing a stable network island, to keep the electricity system constant & balanced.

The technology was used to restore the portion of the system that had been blacked out & then integrate that supply with the grid.

The project was funded using £550,000 through our Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme which was backed by the Scottish Government.

Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse stated: “Over the past decade Scotland has delivered huge success in decarbonising the electrical energy generated in Scotland, with renewable electricity delivering the equivalent of more than 90% of the power needed to meet Scotland’s demand for electricity in 2019. It is important that wind farms, which provided 73% of Scotland’s renewable electricity generation, don’t only provide zero carbon energy, but can also deliver the technical services that older, now-closed power stations would have provided for the grid to deliver an effective ‘black start’ recovery in the event of a major power cut.

“Now Dersalloch has achieved a world first in proving that a wind farm can deliver vital ‘black start’ services in the event of a wider power blackout and this is a crucial step in ensuring that we can deliver timely recovery times from any such incident should it occur while helping underpin a sustainable security of supply of electricity in Scotland as we move towards an energy system that is consistent with net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.”

Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables also included the accomplishment at Dersalloch highlights the crucial role renewables will play in developing a decarbonised, modern & smart electricity system as well as a “fantastic example” of collaboration & innovation.

She commented: “As wind is now the cheapest form of electricity generation, innovating our wind farms to be responsive zero-carbon power stations that enhance the network, improve system resilience and help deliver the cleaner and greener future needed to achieve net zero makes sense.”

SPR will carry on working with SGRE to guarantee VSM technology becomes a fixed feature, completed by battery storage to better match the flexibility demands of the network.

ScottishPower ‘pioneering world first’ boost via wind farm

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